Courtesy: The Winnipeg Sun
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers fired controversial head coach Mike Kelly tonight, board chairman Ken Hildahl announced.
"It's a tough decision but I've been saying repeatedly to you folks for the last six weeks that we were reviewing the on-field performance, the associated performance of the head coach over the last 12 months and we came to the conclusion tonight, based on that assessment, that it's time to move on and find a new coach," he said.
The announcement came after an emergency board meeting after Kelly was arrested for domestic assault at his home near Philadelphia this morning.
However, Hildahl denied the decision was based on Kelly's legal problem
"We have to respect the fact that an incident did take place today," he said. "But in the eyes of the law, these are allegations and allegations only. Our review was based strictly on last year's performance."
Under Kelly, the Bombers finished out of the CFL playoffs with a 7-11 record and his rookie campaign with fraught with clashes with both fans and the media.
"There's no question there's been some damage done to the football club brand this year," Hildahl conceded.
The Bombers gave Kelly a chance to resign but he declined, Hildahl said.
Kelly was hired by club president/CEO Lyle Bauer, who resigned this morning.